Coastal residents to gather in support of fishing communities

Two-day conference to focus on sustainable future


Contact: Paula Cullenberg, Leader, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, 907-274-9692,, profile
NR: SG-2006/NR239

Anchorage, Alaska—Alaska's coastal fishing communities face an uncertain future. Changes in fisheries management, an ever-evolving global economy, and a rapidly aging workforce have had a negative impact on Alaska's small fishing communities. Finding ways to preserve and enhance fishing as an important part of the coastal Alaska economy is the subject of a statewide conference in Anchorage September 21–22. The conference is a forum for community members to exchange ideas and discuss how to support Alaska's coastal communities, fishing and seafood businesses, as well as develop strategies to ensure the sustainability of fishing for the benefit of the next generation.

Speakers include coastal Alaskans, as well as guests from India and eastern Canada. Chandrika Sharma, with the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers in Chennai, India, will speak about the sustainability of rural fishing communities in the global marketplace.

John Kearney of Nova Scotia, Canada, will address how communities can plan community sustainability. Stephanie Madsen, chair of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and Alan Austerman, Fisheries Policy Advisor, Office of the Governor, are also among the speakers. The conference will include breakout discussion sessions and an evening reception and poster session.

Community members, including fishermen, municipal and tribal representatives, seafood processors, business owners, economic planners and others, are encouraged to attend. Registration before September 14 is $75, and $100 after that date. For more information, visit or contact conference coordinator Sherri Pristash at or 907-474-6701.

The conference is sponsored by NOAA Fisheries–Alaska Region, Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, North Pacific Fishery Management Council and Gulf of Alaska Coastal Communities Coalition.

Contributors include Aleutian Pribilof Island Community Development Association, Norquest Seafoods, Sitka Sound Seafoods, and Ocean Beauty Seafoods.